Are you wanting to escape to a quiet village, but still be very close to a popular beach destination in the south of France? Then you need to consider the beautiful village of Gassin. This scenic village is situated in the middle of the Saint Tropez peninsula, perched high up on a rock, and is less than 4 km from the sea and 8 km to Saint Tropez. It showcases old winding streets and ancient houses brimming with beautiful flowers. It’s the panoramic views that make this place incredibly special. Let me share the top things to do in Gassin France.
About Gassin France
Gassin is known for its panoramic views
From this rocky summit, at an altitude of 200 metres, you will have magnificent views of the coastline of the Gulf of St. Tropez, including the towns of La Croix, Valmer, Grimaud, St. Maxime and Les Issambres. In the other direction, you will have views of Iles D’Or over to the Maures mountains and all the way to the snowy peaks of the Alps.
When you immediately arrive at the village you have to leave your car in the village’s parking lot as this is a walkable village only. It is here you will find magnificent sea views from the lookout point. It’s the best spot to watch the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset.
Along the terraced wall, the Promenade Dei Barri, is where you will find the best restaurants in Gassin, all of which have large outdoor terraces to look out onto those beautiful panoramic views.
Gassin is known as Les Plus Beaux Villages de France
Gassin is known as Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, or the Most Beautiful Village in France. There are about 150 villages that hold this prestigious title, and Gassin is deservedly one of those. To be considered Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, the village needs to be a maximum population size of 2,000 inhabitants and have at least 2 monuments of historical significance, and yes, of course, be beautiful.
Related reading | Check out my guide to 7 other villages known as the Most Beautiful Village in France located in the department of Vaucluse in the heart of Provence
Top things to Do in Gassin
The top attractions in Gassin
Gassin became a fortified village at the end of the 15th century but experienced most of its development in the second half of the 19th century when it more than doubled in size.
The key monuments and points of interest in Gassin that are a must-see are:
- the Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption chapel, built at the end of the 11th century (rebuilt in the 16th century), houses statues of the Madonna and Child and Christ (17th century) and an 18th-century bell
- the Town Hall of Gassin, built in 1584
- the Romanesque chapel of Our Lady of Consolation is in the midst of a wooded area, and served as a parish until the mid-16th century
- the oldest art gallery in the area, Galerie deï Barri
- a botanical garden, L’Hardy-Denonain, showcases plants native to Provence, as well as black Lilies
- the smallest street in the world, the Androuno, measures only 29 cm wide at its narrowest level
The streets in Gassin
As you wander the pretty streets of Gassin, you’ll notice that the names of the streets are symbols that reflect the history of this village. The Passage of the Watchtower, the door of Saracens, the Rue du Fort, and the Passage of the Knights Templar is all references to the village’s past. Meander through the maze of the winding streets, knowing you can never really get lost. Only if you count getting lost in its sheer beauty.
The ancient homes in Gassin
Gassin is just one of those hilltop villages in France that you daydream about living there one day. It’s a village where more locals live, than tourists can stay.
Most of the historic buildings are built in serpentine or basalt from the local quarries. As well from the doors to the shutters, or even the stucco buildings – it’s a kaleidoscope of pretty pastel colours. Creamy whites, pale yellows, and soft pinks, oranges and blues all blended together.
Related Reading | If you want to visit other hilltop villages in France? Check out our guide on the 5 best hilltop villages close to Nice
Popular day trips from Gassin
Gassin is located in the Var department of France in the beautiful Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur region of southeastern France. With so many beautiful places close by, there are endless day trip options. Here are the top places to visit near Gassin:
- La Croix Valmer – known for its 7 beautiful beaches (4km or 10-minute drive)
- Saint Tropez – known as a lively resort town famous for its beaches, shopping and nightlife (8 km or 15-minute drive)
- Ramatuelle – known for offering beautiful vista views of the Bay of Pampelonne (8-km or 12-minute drive)
- Grimaud – a perched hilltop village with a castle that extends down to the seaside village of Port Grimaud or “French Venice” or “Mini Venice” as it was intentionally built to look just like Venice (11-km or 20-minute drive)
- Sainte Maxime – known for its port, promenade and beaches (14-km or 25-minute drive)
Where to stay in Gassin
With so few hotels in Gassin, renting an Airbnb apartment is the best option. I stayed at La Suite de la Maison du Village, a 1-bedroom loft apartment with a small balcony with such amazing views, click here.
Perfect for a solo or a couple’s stay, this modern loft is absolutely perfect. The industrial-styled apartment sits above an interior design shop. Some of those cool pieces for sale are showcased throughout this small space. Aside from the décor being magazine worthy, it’s the views from the balcony that truly make this the place to stay when in Gassin.
Best Places to Stay in Saint Tropez
If you want to be more central to Saint Tropez check out these places to stay.
- Oh, When the Saints – Saint Tropez. 1-bedroom with direct access to Bouillabaisse Beach on the Côte d’Azur coastline.
- Driftwood & Rose – near Saint Tropez. A 2-bedroom secluded house with a plunge pool is a relaxing getaway.
- Cassis & Champagne – Saint Tropez. A 2-bedroom relaxing house with only a twenty-minute walk from the port, and only four from Bouillabaisse Beach.
As a holidaymaker…
Gassin definitely earns its title of one of the most beautiful villages in France. This under-the-radar village is a perfect weekend getaway destination. It won’t take long to explore the top sites, but well worth staying for a couple of days to explore the nearby popular towns.